What's with the name?

What's with the name? In my mid-twenties, I had essentially gone through one kind of life and am starting to enter another. The people that are probably going to read this blog know exactly what I'm talking about - but for those who don't know, here's a brief rundown . Cheers to Chapter 2! A journey in health in many ways, and to be the best version of myself I can possibly be. I am also a blogger for GreenMommas.com. This is my blog.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Progress [Re]Defined

First of all, I apologize for not keeping up on my posts. It's been over two months! I know some of you might be thinking 'I bet she fell off the band wagon' or 'she became less dedicated'. Well, then, you don't know me. I've been busy! I ended our Slim it to Win it program down 20lbs (in four months), placing #4 overall. Still continuing to lose, little by little, down about 106 lbs total. Because the weight loss has been slower in the last few months, I feel like I should talk about something that has been plaguing me for so long: my relationship with the scale. Meaning, it's the ONLY definite indicator I have been using to document my progress.

A confession: I weigh myself way more than I'd ever like to admit. On a good day maybe once, on a bad day upwards of three times. What is the point in doing that? There isn't one. But I am attached. So, this post will hopefully be a bit therapeutic for me because even though the scale says I'm making 'little progress' there are so many other things that indicate huge progress when it comes to my health and fitness. I need to release myself from basing my value on a number. One number.

If I throw away the number what else do I have as definite progress? Progress is....being able to say no to dessert. Progress is smiling through a workout that would've left me flat on the floor last year. Progress is being able to lift 95lbs. Progress is liking what I see in the mirror, finally. Progress is zipping up in to a size 10 pair of jeans in disbelief. Progress is being able to shop anywhere I want. Progress is realizing how my body responds to certain foods, and adjusting nutrition accordingly. Progress is doing a 10 mile bike ride on a 'rest' day. Progress is being somewhat unrecognizable to friends you haven't seen in awhile. Progress is self-confidence. Progress is signing up for a race and not having to think that I can't run the whole thing. Progress is liking who I am, how strong I can be.

No matter the number, progress is this:

And progress, should be defined by how I feel: incredible. Amazing. Thrilled. Excited for life. Happy. Confident. Strong. I may have started last March, but there will be no definite end. There will always be new goals, new health priorities to achieve, and that - is exciting!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Cleanse to Rule Them All & Other Things

I realize it's been over a month since I've posted. But wow, I'm over 2,000 page views. Incredible! Thanks to all of you that continue to read my blog!

The cleanse is a thing of the past - I lost 14lbs total (12 during the month of April) and have really reconsidered the way I was eating. Or I should say, how often I was eating. For the last month I've been having four smaller meals - two of them are the whole fruit and veggie smoothies or juice. This works very well for me, keeping my metabolism going throughout the day and sustaining my energy. I've also tried to cut out as much gluten and dairy as I can. Mostly because it's hard for me to control myself when I start to eat it (cheese or bread). I'm working at it but I still have indulgences, like strawberry-rhubarb pie on Sunday. It's important that I not try to set crazy limitations on myself so allowing a little indulgence once in awhile works for me.

I have to talk about some of my new favorite food things. Recently I discovered fresh-pressed juice. We are incredibly lucky in Burlington to have a few companies that offer a full juice bar, and we also have one company that is at the Essex Farmer's market on Fridays. There is nothing more delicious and refreshing as a carrot apple ginger juice (lots of ginger). I bought a juicer after crunching some numbers - my buying a $5 juice twice a week would mean the juicer would pay for itself in about two months. I've been juicing everything - a great 'wake up' combo is lemon, apple, kale & mint. Landon loves fresh orange or lemon/apple juice and I feel much better about letting him have that over grocery store orange juice (I've never let him have sugary juices).

My next new food thing is a lovely company, YourFarmstand.com, that brings together local farms and the people that want their awesome food. It's online ordering with free delivery for all things local. I have been able to get (finally) reasonably-priced local meat. The veggies are very inexpensive as well and they get delivered directly to me at work every Thursday. The quality of the food thus far has been nothing less of superb. I highly encourage you to check it out, they deliver to many areas!

I'm going to jump all over the place in this post, sorry!

Gardening season is here! We have two plots this year - 1200 sq feet of gardening space. Both plots are planted already. We've got greens in one plot (beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, more beans, lettuce, kale, spinach, cukes, basil, herbs, tomatoes, brussel sprouts) and the other plot has less-green things (corn, potatoes, onions, squash, melons, radish & peanuts). Not kidding with that last one; Noah has a whole bed of peanuts going. Hoping to make some of our own peanut butter in the fall. With twice the space we anticipate twice the yield lasting us throughout the winter, as we ran out in January/February of this year. 

CrossFit is going really well. I feel stronger every week - can currently do 115lb dead lifts, 75lb push presses, almost a hand stand and I'm working with a 20kg kettle bell (~44lbs). Five or six months ago, I was working with just a bar (45lbs) for those first two exercises and a 12kg kettle bell (~26lbs). I am really happy with how strong I am becoming! I had a defining moment last month when we were working in teams on a circuit workout. Each team would use the same bar for dead lifts - and my instructor put me on the boys team! I'm as strong as some of the CrossFit boys now! I have noticed a huge improvement in my mobility, too. When I started CrossFit my squats were right at my knee line, and my hip flexors would hurt when I tried to go lower. I can now to a really well-formed 'air squat' with my lowest point well below my knee line, with no pain. 

Last month and this I've lost another 6lbs, bringing my grand total up to -97 (whoa!) and 19 lbs lost in the first three months of Slim it to Win it. And guess what? I'm #4 out of 50 (or so) people for percentage of weight loss. With a great three weeks I could win this thing.

I'm finally feeling like I am close to the finish line. It's within my reach. My goal when I started this journey was to get down to 150 and I'm 30lbs away now. It's funny when I tell people I 'only' have 30lbs to go. That seems like a lot of weight to most people. But when you consider that I'm already down almost 100lbs, it doesn't seem like a lot. Sometimes, I almost feel like I want to slow my weight loss journey down. I don't want the journey to be over. But fitness & health is something that I'm always going to be working on, even after I hit my goal weight. I am excited to finally be able to build a wardrobe - during the last year I haven't had more then three outfits at a time because it's just too expensive to buy a whole new set of clothes every two months. I've finally started living my life without physical limitations, challenging myself everyday to be stronger and continue to make great food choices. 

Here's-97lbs :

Also celebrating 6 months without coloring my hair. I had forgotten how pretty my natural color is. It's still a little bit lighter at the bottom because of the highlights, but it blends pretty well. 

Cheers to the home stretch!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Week Three of the Uber-Long 21 Day Cleanse Diary

April Weight Loss: -12lbs
Running Total: -90lbs in 14 months

We're on the last week! The start of the third week was also our weigh in for the Slim It To Win It competition. Imagine my surprise stepping on the scale and seeing I had lost 12lbs in April! It was an incredible feeling and also a notable success; in 13 months of consistent weight loss, I had never hit double-digit weight loss. The closest I had come to breaking 10lbs was the first month I started on this journey, losing 9lbs in March 2012. To see such a high number at this point in the journey was amazing.

The day after the weigh in, I was off to Boston to see my brother graduate from Northeastern. I packed up my blender, supplements, frozen fruit and spinach and headed down:

 It was a weekend of celebration but my food intake was really good. I had the smoothies twice a day and a manageable dinner of either fish or chicken with some veggies. I refused all of the bread & cheese plates at each dinner. Friday we had a lunch after the graduation. I ordered chicken & broccoli with Ziti in a garlic & olive oil sauce. I asked for double veggies and handed off the ziti to someone else. While everyone went to the hotel to nap after this lunch, I headed to the hotel gym, getting a few miles in on the treadmill and lifting some weights. We used the hotel pool on Friday night, getting a few laps in.

Saturday morning I experienced hot Yoga for the first time with my brother & sister. It was, for lack of a better word, sweaty. I've never been a fan of yoga but doing it in the heat brought it to a whole new level. After the class, our drenched selves walked around Jamaica Plains for awhile trying to find breakfast. We stopped in to a lovely coffee shop that had fresh carrot juice! What a great, refreshing reward after yoga. I was pretty that I really didn't crave coffee despite the small coffee shops and Dunkin' Donuts we stopped by the whole weekend. By Saturday afternoon I was starving and managed to find a nice little Lebanese place in the mall food court. I found - in a mall - lightly seasoned chicken kebabs with a small side salad.

This weekend was a test. It proved that you can have so many hurdles (temptations) in your way, but it's your will power and desire to be healthy that will help you overcome them. You can only accomplish health if you really desire it and the momentary temptations become not worth it. And I REALLY want this - to be healthy.

I had one of those defining moments this weekend that I will never forget (well actually there were many non-health involved ones like driving in the car with my siblings singing to 'Hey Jealousy'). Sis, Jen & I went shopping in the mall - in H&M. Now, this is one of those stores tailored to the younger women, a place I would normally never dare go in. I bought a dress off the rack without trying it on and it FIT! A large, from H&M. I got a little teary eyed seeing how far I had come to be able to shop anywhere in a mall. Not just plus-sized stores or department stores, but the trendy, girly shops! Most people underestimate such a small thing like that - being able to shop for clothes anywhere - but it was such a huge moment for me. That moment, shopping in that store, makes everything that I have done in the last 14 months so worth it.

I stepped on the scale Monday, I had lost another 1.5lbs in Boston. Hooray for gluten & dairy free, it's really paying off! I didn't hate any of the pictures that were taken of me either - here's a picture from right after the graduation of my whole family:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Days 8 - 11 of the Uber-Long 21 Day Cleanse Diary

Day 8 :

At this point the eating regime has become somewhat normal to me. I don't allow myself to get really hungry because I find that's when I crave the food I'm not supposed to have the most. It scares me a little that my eating is so controlled right now and so is the weight loss. I know I have to add back in protein on Day 11 (Sunday), but I almost don't want to. But I have to remember I lost most of my weight in the last year at a very steady, much slower pace. Losing a pound almost every day is too fast. For a moment today I was tempted to revert to my teenage self; that girl that lost weight so fast by eating only around 800 calories a day and working out for two hour sessions. But when I was 15, I lost 80 lbs and gained it all back just as fast as I lost it. While the fast weight loss during this cleanse is comforting, this not a manageable way to eat, as tempting as it is to continue on with it just to lose weight fast. I am much smarter this time around.

And so, I will  add some healthy fats and proteins in to slow the weight loss down - it will be weight that stays off. I'll start in small portions, maybe just with dinner. I'm pretty tired of eating salad for lunch nearly everyday. After the cleanse I've already decided to implement a few changes to my nutrition plan : drink at least 64 oz of water a day, increase vegetable intake, reduce dairy and consider replacing a meal with the smoothie some days. I may end up staying gluten free, but the Italian in me is fighting for that not to happen. A big win for me is that I don't need caffeine anymore, I'm fine without it.

Today I went back to CrossFit after a week off from it. It was amazing. I felt stronger and faster with more energy. I missed it, for sure.

Around 4pm my cravings for food kicked in. I kept surfing the web for some sort of vegan spinach artichoke dip but all the recipes included tofu and/or nuts, which are both off limits. So I took matters in to my own hands! I went over to healthy living (I practically live there now) and perused the isles for an interesting dinner dish. I decided to make a spinach/artichoke pasta! I would use oil and veggie stock along with my old favorites garlic & onion which ended up being a delightful and filling dish! Now, I used organic brown rice noodles which tasted just like spaghetti, honestly. What's nice about the rice noodles is that that you can cook them just like a risotto, absorbing the flavor of the stock and spices. I was really happy with this dish :

Breakfast : Strawberry Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
Snacks : Apple
Lunch : Peach Pineapple Smoothie / BIG Salad w/vinaigrette
Dinner : Pasta! (not really). Rice noodles sauteed w/spinach, artichoke, red pepper, onions, garlic, vegetable stock & a little lemon juice.

Exercise : Back at CrossFit!

Day 9 :
8 days / 6.5lbs down

The scale keeps moving! I had a freak out moment last night when I realized that my brother's graduation in Boston was next weekend, not the weekend after (when I would be done the cleanse). There was no way I could face multiple dinners out and be on this cleanse, right? After my initial scare I made sure I had a room with a mini-fridge with a freezer compartment at the hotel so I could bring stuff for fruit smoothies. Noah reminded me that I would at least be able to eat chicken and fish out to dinner. I decided to bring all my food for breakfast and lunch and then I would at least be able to have protein and veggies at dinner. I can do this, right? The hotel also has a new fitness center which will help keep me on my game Friday & Saturday. So the only thing I'm going to have to say no to is the bread & wine, I can do it!

I'm a little sore from CrossFit yesterday but I was there again today. Since I was starving yesterday around 4 I waited to have lunch until after I workout, instead of before like yesterday. It was a good one! I was doing 70lb push presses, box jumps, squats and wall balls in a team of three. Our team was amazing, we did the most amount of rounds - 10 in 25 minutes. And I was definitely starving after.

Breakfast: Cherry Peach Spinach Smoothie
Snacks : Carrots, Apples
Lunch : Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie, Carrot Soup
Dinner : Sweet potato fries, steamed kale, rice

Days 10 - 11 :
11 days / -8.4lbs

Over the weekend the weight loss kept going, I am now down 8.4 lbs since the start of the cleanse which means I have lost 10.4 lbs this month. NEVER have I hit double digit weight loss in a month during this weight loss journey. I am beaming right now, incredibly happy.

I didn't intend to work out this weekend, but getting up Saturday morning I saw Sarah had already gone running! Feeling inspired, I laced up my shoes and headed out the door and I was so glad I did. I ran my fastest 5K time in just under 28 minutes!!! I stayed steady at 9min per mile for 3.1 miles - incredible! Not to mention it was beautiful outside this weekend.

My eating was good this weekend although I attended two very 'tempting' events. We went to see MGMT at SpringFest on Saturday. Watching pizza and gyros go by me I was a little jealous. But I know that when I get too hungry on this cleanse I start to get bad cravings. Avoiding the food trucks I went home and made a nice rice noodle stir fry for dinner and the cravings were gone. Sunday we went to Noah's parents house. He was so sweet to let his mom know about my cleanse. She bought me a piece of salmon and grilled some veggies for me. Sunday was day 11 so bring on the protein! I had a small piece of salmon for lunch avoiding chips, burgers, potato salad, rice krispie treats, cake and soda. I wouldn't normally indulge in dessert anyway, but if I was not on the cleanse I would've had a burger and some potato salad at least. It was great to spend most of the weekend outside! Beautiful VT spring weather.

This weekend was successful as the scale let me know on Monday!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 4 - 7 of the Uber-Long 21 Day Cleanse Diary

Day 4:

Day 4 went really well until I had to stare temptation full-on in the face. Meaning, this cleanse is pretty easy if you're surrounded with only things you can eat, not with things that you can't. I'll preface this by saying I did not cheat once at all during day four, but it was difficult, a real willpower test.

Being at least 1/4 Italian and 1/4 Irish my food indulgences (or should I say loves) are pasta & cheese. Especially when you combine them. My dad invited me over for Sunday dinner and I told him ahead of time that I was doing this cleanse and to have some veggies ready. So of course it was still the usual when I got there - a spread of wine, cheese and bread laid out on the table. I refused it all, grabbing a glass of water. Luckily he made a salad and I brought my rice to cook up, but he made - of all things - Chicken Alfredo - for dinner. My son loved it and I tried not to notice the steaming bowl of pasta and cream sauce that sat in front of me. But I did it, successfully, and headed home triumphant.

Breakfast : Cherry Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie
Snacks: Apple, Carrots
Lunch: Strawberry Blackberry Kale Smoothie / Roasted asparagus with spices & olive oil (8 large spears)
Dinner : 1/2 cup rice, mixed green salad with raspberry vinaigrette

Day 5 :
4 days / -3.5 lbs
Pretty happy with the scale. I know I probably won't lose as much when protein is added back in but the weight loss has been consistent. In the last 4 days I lost as much weight as I did last month, almost.

This morning I was super hungry and needed the shake right at 8:30. My exercise plan for the week is to walk Monday, then I am signed up for classes the rest of the week. Five days is enough of a rest week right? I made spicy vegan carrot soup this weekend. I even made my own vegetable stock, too. Took a bit of time, but I think I have a tasty carrot soup for lunches this week! I followed this recipe from Yummly, adding a bit more heat than the recipe called for. Let me tell you this carrot soup is blowing my mind right now. It's neat how far a little seasoning goes, and a hot cup of soup for that matter. I was shivering this morning after I downed my smoothie. Hot soup was just the thing I needed.

I had a pretty bad sugar craving around 8pm, probably because there were sweets on display in my fridge (cannoli, brownie sundae left over from my dads) that I was prohibited to touch. Even giving Landon his ice cream sandwich for dessert I had to remind myself not to eat the rest of it that he didn't finish. I have realized my bad habits when it comes to making food for Landon. If I'm making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I'll lick the knife or I'll have a snack with him, eat his left over food, etc. I've had to stop myself from these habits many times during the day. I made myself a little frozen banana sorbet and the sweet craving passed.

Breakfast: Peach Mango Ginger Spinach Smoothie
Snacks: Apple
Lunch : Blueberry Strawberry Banana Smoothie, Carrot Soup, Mixed Greens Salad, Carrot Soup
Dinner: Lentil soup, broccoli & green beans
Dessert: Banana sorbet

DAY 6:
5 days / -3.7lbs

Trying not to be disappointed by the scale and it' .2 lb loss yesterday. I am crazy to be disappointed, I've lost 4lbs almost in just 5 days. Ok, still happy. Today, I'm starting workouts again! I'm starting with running and I've signed up for a few Yoga classes and CrossFit on Friday. I miss CrossFit, but I'll get back in to it Friday. I really shouldn't be doing it until I am eating animal protein again but vegans still strength train, right? I still feel great, tons of energy and honestly yesterday when I walked I had to stop myself from breaking in to a run. I'm ready. I didn't give myself a full week off (only 6 days off from high-intensity workouts) but hey I figured starting back in a little early is better than wanting to give myself too long of a break.

So today, yes TODAY, I ran. AND I met my one of my year-end goals of running a 5k in 30 min - in April. I flew on the pavement, or at least I felt I did. Call me amazed. I have been gluten, dairy, animal, caffeine and alcohol free for five and a half days and guess what? It made me a faster runner. Today, blog readers, was a good day. I can't express in words that feeling of surprising myself with meeting a goal more than 8 months early.

Breakfast: Strawberry Blueberry Banana Spinach Smoothie
Snacks: Carrots, Apple
Lunch: Peach Pineapple Spinach Smoothie, Steamed Broccoli & Cucumbers (those were not steamed)
Dinner: Steamed kale, rice, sweet potato fries (yum!)

DAY 7:
6 days/-4.4 lbs

We made it, one week down and two to go! Doing some math today if I keep on this steady weight loss progress, I could lose 15lbs in three weeks which is so exciting. It will take discipline with my dairy, meat & alcohol intake after the cleanse is complete to keep it off and keep losing. I think I'm going to stick with the fruit shake for at least one meal - perhaps breakfast. Although I love eggs and cheese.

Today was a fun day, Sarah went to a spin class with me today and she rocked it! Burned way more calories than I did (and I burned 480)! It is always so inspiring to me to see people start their own health journey. Today is also the last day of the SP Cleanse supplement and we move on to the green food supplements which means less capsules to take! Still feeling really great, went through a spin class today with tons of energy and I have not been hungry.

A week from today is the second Slim it to Win it weight in. I'm already down 7.6 lbs from that weigh in so I'm excited to see what the next seven days brings!

Breakfast : Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie
Snack : Carrots, Apple
Lunch: Peach Pineapple Smoothie, Garden salad, italian dressing (olive oil, oregano, balsamic)
Dinner : Stirfry (photo below)
Dessert : Banana sorbet
Exercise : Spin & Sculpt

Weigh in on Day 8 AM - lost 6lbs in 7 days! Also down 8lbs this month so far...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Days 1 - 3 of the Uber-Long 21 Day Cleanse Diary

Here it is. The time has come. The countdown is over and now it is cleanse time. Almost 29 years in to life and I'm finally doing a cleanse. What is this cleanse I speak of, you ask? Well, I'm doing the 'Standard Process Purification/Detoxification' program which focuses on eating real, organic food (fruits, veggies wild rice for the first 11 days, adding deep sea fish and chicken for the last 10 days) while taking whole food supplements to support detoxification of the liver, kidneys and intestines. I have to thank my friend and fellow detox buddy Sarah for talking me in to this (I thank her now, but we'll see if I'm still thankful a few days in!). I may not have ever attempted something like this by myself.

For 10 days (of the 21) I will essentially be a vegan. No gluten, caffeine, alcohol or dairy is allowed the entire program. For the first 10 days my eating will consist entirely of veggies, fruits and a very limited amount of rice (1/2 cup). It is a bit intimidating but something I'm willing to do because what I eat has changed so much over the last year. I will not be experiencing the negative effects of withdrawing from caffeine, processed foods or sugar because I eat very little, if any. If you are interested in the program and following along with me (and my detox buddy!) check out the .pdf of the entire program here. I will be having a rice protein mixture to blend in to my fruit smoothies (twice a day) so I don't anticipate being terribly hungry but we'll see.

The Prep:

First, you have to find a standard process kit - normally they are only supplied by nutritionists, chiropractors   etc. But you can find them on Ebay or Amazon for around $200. You get everything you need for the 21 days and a nice booklet about the program including the food journal. You'll also need a blender for smoothies, which I had to purchase.

I bought some detox lemon tea as I can't drink green tea or any other tea with caffeine in it during the 21 days. It's highly recommended to taper off processed foods, sugar and caffeine prior to starting to avoid headaches. I had already pretty much stopped drinking coffee already (save one latte/week) and cut myself off from green tea two days before the start of the cleanse with no headaches. I don't normally eat processed foods or anything with refined sugars so it was an easy one there. I can see how it would be a horrible first few days of the cleanse if you try to quit everything at once - I heard that sugar is just as addictive as some illegal drugs (or more so) but I'm at a good point nutritionally to start this cleanse where I hope not to be miserable from withdrawal.

I started shopping a few days before, stocked up on wild rice, brown rice, frozen blackberries, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, green beans (all organic, of course) to have for my smoothies. Then came the day before the cleanse and it was really time to load up on the veggies. In the last year I developed a love for almost everything green. I don't like mushrooms, however, but there are plenty of green veggies that I LOVE.  I am one of those people who prefers spinach over iceberg lettuce for a salad. I think Kale is one of my all-time favorites. I decided to shop for only a few days at a time so everything would be fresh. In a perfect world I'd love to be able to shop at open-air markets each day for my food like they do in so many other countries. Ideally I'd like to stop shopping at grocery stores all together and depend on local farms mostly for my food but that's a whole other thing to tackle. Anyway, I'm loaded up on veggies, fruits, high-quality oils, rice and am ready to go. Here's what my spread looked like on day 1:

Prepare yourself as I walk you through my journey, I'm providing  advanced apologies for any cleanse-induced rants that may happen. Read along, if you dare.

DAY 1:
I've been told the key to this cleanse/detox is preperation. So I packed my breakfast and lunch smoothie ingredients and a snack in containers for the work day. I woke up pretty stoked to start, actually munching on some raw kale to curb my hunger until I made my shake. The deal with this cleanse is you have to eat twice as many veggies as fruit, though they don't limit you on intake.

Breakfast Smoothie: 1 cup fruit (strawberry, rasberry, blackberry), 1 cup veggies (kale), 2 scoops SP Complete
Snacks: Carrots, Apple
Lunch: HUGE SALAD (meatless, dairy-free w/vinaigrette), Smoothie with 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup mango, 1/2 cup peaches & fresh ginger
Dinner: Stirfry with garlic, onion, olive oil, wild rice, asparagus, green beens & carrots

The shake was OK although I'm a big fan of kale or spinach in smoothies anyway. The protein powder came off of chalky to me, which I also expected. Not too bad, wishing it was a little sweeter but completely drinkable. Also snacked on a cup of carrots too, might as well keep eating while I have the appetite. Downed the supplements with water at each meal (10 capsules total of organic whole food powders/herbs, 3 times a day) which was a bit difficult. Ginger tastes like sunshine. It's probably going to end up in all my smoothies from now on.

Day one I was hungry pretty much every 90 minutes - likely because organic fruits and veggies are so easy for your body to process so they would move out of my stomach quickly. Hunger is an interesting feeling. I didn't experience it too often on my current healthy eating plan (prior to the cleanse) because I always ate a fair amount of animal protein with each meal. Eating only fruits and veggies for most of the day was difficult, made me hungry at multiple points in the day and made me look forward to my one meal with rice that was allowed. I think for me, even though I do eat pretty healthy, it's important while going through this cleanse to recognize the feeling of hunger. Because I am drinking so much water I know the feeling is not thirst. And the opposite is true - I need to know what a 'full' feeling is for me. Not stuffed, but satisfied. During day one I noticed that drinking the smoothies did make me full but for a short period of time. I could quickly satisfy my hunger with some carrots, apple or other veggies.

Dinner tasted amazing. It was interesting how just the tiny bit of fat (olive oil) made the meal so tasty. For dessert I made myself a little frozen banana sorbet (just 1/2 frozen banana with a little water run through a blender) and that was also delicious. Day one went really well, I felt great at the end of it and followed all of the cleanse rules. In fact I drank 40 more ounces of water than recommended.

DAY 2:
I slept so well last night. Normally I sleep well but last night I don't recall moving or tossing around at all. Just like a rock. Got out of bed early and ready for the day, stepped on the scale first thing - I lost 1/2 a pound in day one. That's pretty reasonable considering I don't really have a lot of detoxing to do (clean eating for the past year or so) and that I only ate about 700 calories yesterday. Half a pound makes perfect sense. Day 2 is likely to look a lot like Day 1. I figured out yesterday that I was eating too little fruit (the suggested fruit serving sizes are generally bigger than the veggie serving sizes) so my shake this morning was huge and thick like sorbet, really yummy. I honestly did not taste the powder.

Breakfast : Banana, Blueberry, Strawberry & Spinach Smoothie
Snack: Carrots, Apple, frozen banana sorbet
Lunch: Mango Peach Ginger & Spinach Smoothie, mixed green salad w/balsamic vinaigrette
Dinner : 1/2 cup rice stirfry w/green beans and broccoli

At some point during my walk today I contemplated vegetarianism. I thought how respectable it was to be on a nutrition plan just like this everyday. A deliberate effort to not indulge in animal meat (or products for vegan). I realized having meat was an indulgence, really, or cheese or milk. They are things other live beings have to give to us. The last two days have really opened up my eyes to vegetarianism as a manageable lifestyle - I had not been too hungry in the last two days and was pretty full of energy, quite honestly. Maybe after this I will start eating less meat...so many other things are indulgences like coffee or alcohol. I am already two days in to this cleanse and trying to better define want vs. need when it comes to what I am eating or drinking, which is EXACTLY why I am doing it.

I felt really good the whole day and was never too hungry. Having a nice big warm meal at the end of the day (even if it was just a little bit of rice and a ton of veggies) was the perfect ending to the day.

DAY 3 :
Again last night I slept very well. Usually Landon gets here around 8am and we nap for an additional hour or two. He got here at 7:30 this morning and I honestly didn't feel tired at all. I do want to note this morning I felt like I had done a really good ab workout and I'm sure that's due to what's going on in my stomach and digestive system right now.

Got on the scale and I lost a pound and a half yesterday (2lbs in 2 days)! Now, I already know that you're thinking it's just water weight or effects of flushing things out of my digestive system but I know it's not either of those things. I am drinking so much water, up to 100oz/day to the point where I thought drinking that much water would make me weigh more. And another reason; this is a cleanse not a flush. There are no strange things coming out of me at a rapid pace.

Now a note about exercise during the 21 days. Standard Process recommends not doing any high-intensity workouts during the three weeks. I have been walking a few miles a day but I'm going a little crazy without my workouts - and I feel great. Today on top of some good house cleaning I did a bit of strength training to test the waters. Still felt fine. I will probably try to go back to my workout classes on Monday, I figure if I feel really fatigued I can just cut out of the workout early.

Breakfast: Kiwi Apple Spinach Smoothie
Snacks: Carrots, Banana sorbet
Lunch : Banana Orange Pineapple Ginger Spinach Smoothie, spicy kale & green bean salad
Dinner : Sweet potato (baked) spicy fries, steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup rice

Here is my breakfast smoothie and the kale & bean salad (sauteed with onions, red pepper flakes & chili powder). Apple and Kiwi wasn't my favorite combo, the smoothies with mango or berries have been better. I liked the extra spice of the kale and bean salad, I had been having a mixed green salad for lunch so this was a nice change.

Taking the supplements (30 capsules/day)  is not getting any easier but I find taking them with lemon water curbs the weird taste at least. Another good day on this cleanse. I'm satisfied with what I'm eating and really not that hungry.

Weighing myself at the beginning of day 4i lost another .8 lbs, down 2.8 total in three days - I'd say we can round that to 3!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

SITWI Begins and 5X5X5 Challenge

This month I realized that being on a healthy eating schedule and working out regularly makes me better at all other areas of life. I'm a happier, mostly stress-free person - and a harder worker. I got promoted last week, and then thought about when I really got on my 'SEO game' - it was Spring last year when I made it my mission to go the extra mile, above and beyond for my clients. Is it a coincidence that is the same time I started eating much healthier and exercising 5 days a week? No. The benefits of this healthy lifestyle - while plentiful - have extended far beyond the physical for me. I'm just having a year where I feel like I'm acing life, you know? I've never felt that way before. Pretty cool.

Month one of our Slim it to Win it challenge at work (the second one for me). I've been asked to be on a panel about sustainable weight loss, so others can ask questions about how I 'did it' (or in my eyes, continuing to work towards a healthy goal). Who would've ever though I would be asked to be on a panel for healthy, sustainable weight loss? It boggles my mind. I lost a reasonable amount of weight this month - 4lbs so far. I hit a really big milestone in March, though. For the first time since high-school, I'm under 200lbs (actually well under right now). The even better thing about this, though, is that I've been under 200 before, but NEVER as strong as I am right now.

Total, I'm 75lbs down Here's what that looks like:

 Now, you're probably wondering what the 5X5X5 challenge is. I had already signed up for four 5Ks in May (the Maple Street 5K running series) and then I found another that peaked my interest ColorSmacked is a 5K that you dress in white and have colored powder thrown at you throughout the run. So, I've challenged myself to complete five 5Ks in the fifth month of this year (5X5X5). I'm planning on doing this on top of my workout routine too, which should make it extra challenging.

More exciting things coming up! A friend of mine convinced me to finally do a cleanse. This is something I've been considering for a long time because although I am a pretty 'clean' eater right now, I lived off crap food for a long time. When I has lost weight in highschool, bringing me to a 'healthy weight', I was living of package meals like Lean Cuisine and breakfast shakes, flavored like Strawberry or Chocolate. This three week intensive cleanse will flush out any toxic build up out of my system that has built up in the last 28 years. I'll have to quit coffee and booze for three weeks and for the first week my food intake will mostly be organic fruit/veggies, lentils and wild rice. After the three weeks you can start to taper other foods back in to your diet like meat, gluten and dairy. This allows you to evaluate how they effect your body. I am half completely scared and half really excited for this journey. I'll start this process when back from San Diego in April. I'm pretty lucky to have a buddy that will be doing it with me, though!

Looking forward to many more fantastic experiences on this journey...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Initial Findings on a Chemical-Free Lifestyle

This blog has made it's way around lately and I've been getting a ton of questions on what or how I've attempted to make my life 'chemical free'. I start to explain and people are really surprised how easy (and inexpensive)  it is. So I figured it would be helpful to put all of my findings in one place, so you can see how crazy (but not really) I am when it comes to the 'products' I keep in our house.

First, let me explain what prompted me to get rid of everything I thought was supposed to clean me and my home. I started reading the labels on everything, and it's something I recommend every one should do. Many companies make this hard to find, or will generalize ingredients like 'fragrance' or 'natural coloring'. Look at the labels on everything and anything you use to clean your house, wash yourself with, eat, drink or comes in to contact with your skin. You may have that initial freak out that I did, especially when you research the 'ingredients' that you can't even pronounce. Now once you've done this, remember that your skin is really good at absorbing things, that's part of it's job after all. Once I started to think about it I didn't want any of it anymore - on me, in my house, on my son, etc. Thinking deeper you may realize that these 'products' many people use on a daily basis are probably a large contributing factor to terrible diseases - actually many of the ingredients in everyday household products, food and beverages have been proven to cause cancer/heart disease etc.  Before we dive in, here's a full disclaimer: I am not the master of all things natural. I am not an expert. I did my own research and picked things that worked best for me. It's a good idea for everyone to do the same. I started with cleaning basics:

1. Vinegar
*Get yourself a gallon of distilled white and a not-so-large bottle of (raw) Apple Cider Vinegar ($6 for both)
Here's what you can do with vinegar, ready?

  • Clean everything!
    • Use 1:1 ratio of water & white vinegar for a multi-purpose cleaning spray. I use this (in a recycled spray bottle) to clean my kitchen, glass, my bathrooms. If you want to be fancy you can put an essential oil in there that has disinfecting properties. I have been using orange peels to infuse my vinegar too for a nice scent and extra cleaning power. I just let the peels sit in the vinegar for a few days or longer in a glass jar!
  • Clean your floors!
    • Using same solution, clean wood, laminate & tile floors. I use a recycled swiffer mop and cut old bath towels to size as a 'Swiffer pad'. Start with a damp towel, spray on surface and wipe
  • Apple Cider Vinegar : A lovely skin toner
    • Apple cider vinegar, while I did try it as a digestive aid (the raw stuff is just too potent for me) works really well as a facial toner. With a wet cotton round, put a few drops of it on and swipe over face
  • Dishwasher rinsing aid
    • Just put a small amount of white vinegar in your rinse-aid dispenser and it will help keep water spots off your dishes
2. Coconut Oil - The magical all purpose moisturizer ($8 - $15 depending on the brand & size)
  • Trust me when I say you can throw all your lotions and potions away and replace almost all of them with this stuff. It's absolutely nuts to pay $10 and up for a crazy, chemical lotion that ladies can use to make their skin look shimmery, tan, or otherwise not normal. Healthy skin is the best look! I use in it's solid state and just rub a little on my fingers to apply. 
  • Facial moisturizer - great for under and around eyes (better than the $18 cream I was using) and other dry areas on the face
  • Any dry skin - use a small amount as a lotion
  • A deodorant base (see recipes below)
  • For hot oil hair treatment - do research on this there are many other oils you can use. I use just coconut with rosemary & lemon essential oil.
  • I also use olive oil to remove make up, works well and makes your lashes really healthy and thick
3. Honey + Baking Soda - the best face wash you ever had
  • The best way to do it - scoop out some raw honey in the shower, sprinkle with baking soda. Mix and apply to face for a cleansing and moisturzing everyday wash that smells fantastic.
4. Borax & Washing Soda ($4 each) - The way people used to clean things
  • Dishwasher detergent (recipe below)
  • Laundry soap (recipe below)
We've covered the products, many you can just swap out for what you're using. For those that really want to dive in (and by dive in I mean taking an extra 15 min of your time to mix some stuff up), let's get in to some recipes. 

DIY Deodorant (No I'm not kidding)
  • Why DIY? Commercial deodorant is perhaps the most offensive stuff out there. Aluminum, parabens and many of their ingredients can cause cancer (see http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/AP-Deo). No joke. Get rid of this stuff but don't be smelly! When I tell people I make my own deodorant, they think I'm nuts, gross, or both. Most people don't believe it works. But I promise you it does, all the time, and there is no cancer-causing crap in it.
  • Take your jar of coconut oil and bring to a liquid state. If it's in a glass container, you can set in a saucepan and surround by water. Heat until it's a clear liquid
Now Mix
  • 5 TB liquid Coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cornstarch (we're working on substituting Arrow Root powder for this - cheaper and more natural)
  • Add 10 - 20 drops of essentials oils (I use lemon & orange but please DON'T use lemon in it if your armpits are going to be exposed to the sun).
This will become a deodorant-like consistency once it reaches room temp again. I keep in a recycled yogurt container and just grab a pea-sized amount with my fingers and apply. The coconut oil will work with your body heat and apply nicely. If it's too messy for you save one of your old deoderant containers, wash it out thoroughly and pour the mixture in there (however if you're going to do this I wouldn't recommend keeping it in a room above 75 degrees).

DIY Laundry Soap (not detergent)
  • Why DIY? I had to really dig, but here is an ingredient sheet for Tide detergent : http://www.pgproductsafety.com/productsafety/ingredients/household_care/laundary_fabric_care/Tide/Tide_Liquid_-_Original.pdf. They make you go one click further to even find out what 'fragrance' actually means. That ingredient list is even scarier. Detergent frangrance is the one that bothers me the most now. I can smell the artificial fragrance on clothes from a few feet away, or in the gym or wherever I happen to be. There is definitely an element of the detergent that lingers in the clothes and comes in to contact with your skin. Also the price of tide is ridiculous - last time I checked it was $14 for a month's supply with just three people in our household. The following recipe costs about $3 to make and will last for likely 3+ months. It's cheap and easy, so you should at least try it!
  • This is the recipe I ended up with -  I use only castile bar soap with it that has a natural (read : not chemical) fragrance. Dr. Bronner's Lavender is my preference here. This soap only has 5/6 ingredients, mostly fair-trade, organic oils.
1 gallon + 32 oz water
2/3 bar grated castile bar soap (or liquid castile soap, homemade if you're savvy)
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda 

In a very large sauce pan, heat water and bar soap until bar soap is completely dissolved in water. Remove from heat then add borax & washing soda. Stir just until mixed and let cool overnight. This will turn in to a thick pudding consistency. This is not going to be exactly like the detergent you're used to. You may have to shake it up each time you use it. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup per load. **Update - we made a batch of this recently with our homemade liquid kitchen soap (soap made from scratch with oil/lye) and let me tell you, the consistency is really nice and it works very well! I'm thinking you can probably use Dr. Bronner's liquid castile too, which will make a much more liquid soap. 

Dishwasher Soap

  • Why DIY? The dishwasher detergent I was using contained many ingredients, one of which is Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Here's a wikipedia article on that : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_laureth_sulfate, which states "Some products containing SLES have been found to also contain traces (up to 279 ppm) of 1,4-dioxane. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that these levels be monitored.[7] The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies 1,4-dioxane to be a probable human carcinogen". More cancer-causing stuff, on your dishes, that you eat on. I also read a really great article on the Crunch Betty blog about a child who had eaten homemade dish washer soap, which the poison control center explained was way less toxic (almost non-toxic) than Cascade, Dawn, etc.
  • If you've made the laundry soap, you have 75% of the ingredients you're going to need already anyway. 
Mix :
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup citric acid (available on Amazon).

*Add a pinch or rice grains to keep this from solidifying (the citric acid causes this). Add a small scoop to each load of dishes.
*This is not perfect with glass, you may have to hand-wash your clear glass things every few loads, still working on this one!

So there it is, in a very large nutshell. Does it take a little bit of extra time? Yes. Is it going to save you money an have a healthy impact on you life? Yes! But it' pretty nice if you're out of laundry soap to just make a batch of your own and not have to depend on the store to provide it for you. Noah and I joke that a chemical-free lifestyle is a tiered process. This is tier one for us. Noah has dived in to tier 2 and is perfecting making his own soap (which is amazing already I think, btw) and we're growing a ton of Lavender that may or may not end up in some of the soap products. Tier two for me will probably be investigating making my own natural make-up. I use a lot of mineral-based makeup which is OK, but not great.

The whole task of trying to live this lifestyle can seem overwhelming at first, but we started replacing 'products' one by one until we found an appropriate solution for (almost) everything.

Please give me your thoughts or suggestions, now that I've fully unleashed my 'hippie-ness' upon you. I'd like to know what others have found useful or successful. I'm always trying to find better solutions, most of these work really well but the consistency of the laundry detergent could be better. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Reflection : One Year Later

If in one year I said you could completely change your life, only for the better, would you believe me? I did. A short 12 months ago I made a commitment to myself. I said enough is enough. I knew I needed to make myself and my health a priority. I promised myself I wouldn't let my body hold me back from living anymore, because it did, in so many ways.

I had known that feeling of hating mirrors and thinking I was walking around in the wrong body for too long. Most of my life, actually. All the way back to being the chubby girl on the school bus that all the kids picked on and stuck gum in my hair. To my college days where when I got stressed, I ate - at 2am or 4am sometimes. And I would wonder why my jeans didn't fit anymore. Leading up to the start of 2012 where I was happy in life, but unhappy with what had happened to my health.

Last March I was done, with all of it. I was done feeling bad about myself. I was done with my successes in all other areas of life not be reflected by my physical appearance. In March last year, I somehow got the courage to step on a scale - in front of someone - and promised that was my starting point - I swore I would never see that weight again. NEVER. With friends an fellow competitors of DDC's first ever 'Slim it to Win It' competition, I started caring about myself again. I started trying new exercises which within weeks went from painstakingly awful to relatively enjoyable. I started caring about food as a fuel, and not as an emotional support. After four months of Slim it to Win It, I was down 28 lbs and 5th overall in the competition. But I knew that was just the beginning. I set a goal of 110 lbs to lose and I had barely made a dent. But it was something, it was SOMETHING. And as the weeks kept going by, there were more successes - but not just on the scale. My athletic ability was improving. I would seek out new things that I'd always said I would 'try one day when I was in better shape'.

The weight kept coming off, and I made new commitments - eliminating all chemicals from our house and in my beauty products (long post to come on this one). We (my love & I) started growing our own food last summer. Recently we started researching local meat options, caring about what - exactly - was in our food, where it came from and how it had made the journey to us.

This week, appropriately, I hit the 70lb mark. I have lost s-e-v-e-n-t-y pounds in a year. Yesterday when I was running on the treadmill, I celebrated that I didn't even sweat for the first mile. I felt light on my feet and I even enjoyed the last two miles. I made fitness not a chore but something I look forward too everyday. Something I miss when I've gone a day without it. I am the same person I was a year ago but I feel younger than I was when I was in my teens. I have made so many steps to live a long, healthy life. Although I'm still 40ish pounds away from my goal, I love myself - for the first time in a very long time, or maybe ever. I appreciate all the hard work to get me here.

If I think about everything I've done in the last year to get where I am now, was it all enjoyable? No, absolutely not. The first time I tried spinning, I thought I was going to break the bike. When I set a goal of running a 5k by the end of 2012, without being able to run a mile non-stop it was scary. But now I know that the best workouts are the ones that push you to your breaking point. The ones that you must complete and overcome mentally because sometimes you can't physically. And there were days that I had to talk myself in to doing a work out because I was so sore from the previous days'. But I did it, everytime. I knew the end result (which I've almost made it to) was going to be worth it. Every step I took was worth it.

So really, I guess I'm in the 'home stretch' now. And how wonderful that March 1st starts the second annual 'Slim it to Win It' competition. If I really am focused over the next four months, I can meet my 110lb weight loss goal. That is incredible. I'm ready. Ready to glide in to my 30's in the best shape of my life. Ready to be my best self. Ready to be, look and feel that way I have always wanted to. I'm almost there. I started at the heaviest I've ever been but used it as a starting point. I have made this a lifestyle, and one I am proud of living. Chapter 2 (of my life) is proving to be more incredible than I ever thought it could be, in so many ways.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

You Can't Stand Still to Move Foward

Here we are March 2012 (left) vs. January 2013 (right). I may wear belts all the time now. It's been a long time since I've had a waist like this. Really liked my outfit today, I wouldn't have done a picture otherwise - and the skirt is a Medium! I may be at least almost average size!

So, You Can't Stand Still to Move Forward. That kind of goes without saying, doesn't it. And you can't do the same thing expecting different results. I have been on nearly the same workout schedule for the past few months and although the weight is still coming off I feel the need for something more ...challenging. I want to feel myself becoming stronger, faster and have more endurance. After all that's what (for me) keeps it interesting. Hitting new 'firsts', surpassing goals and being surprised by something I can do today that I couldn't do yesterday.

I have adjusted my training schedule with this in mind and only give myself workouts in which I can measure improvement. It's sort of like having a competition against myself, and being a Leo, I do like competition. For the last few weeks (three I think), this is what I'm doing.

Monday : Run 5k (treadmill or hopefully outside when it's not too frigid)
Tuesday : Insert class I haven't done before (for the last two weeks, it's been Spin Circuit)
Wednesday : CrossFit
Thursday : CrossFit
Friday : CrossFit

Does it look like I'm doing the same thing Wednesday - Friday? Well it is the same class, but it's different everytime. I was recently talking with someone about how people are becoming almost addicted to CrossFit, and I see why. If you have a great instructor (which we're incredibly lucky to have a work) this class can and will push you to your boundaries - and in my case that's nearly passing out and feeling reluctant that you're standing at the end of the class. For most classes it's a certain set of different exercises and you try to complete them as fast as possible. This class format allows me to motivate myself more. I mean, I can do anything for three minutes! I'm doing CrossFit three days in a row, no matter how sore I am from the previous day's class and this has been a great challenge. I am finding new muscle groups - like last week on Wednesday, when we did power cleans for the first time. If you're at all interested in what that looks like : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH_dLhZ2fj8. Now while I'd like to think I look like that when doing it, I don't. I was doing these with 65lbs total (45lb bar plus 2 10lb plates). We did 10 rounds total of 10 power cleans, 10 push ups and 10 squats for time - guess who was the first one finished in the class? That would be me! My competitive nature helps me push myself extra hard. I was so sore in my back and my shoulders for two days after - but I had never felt this whole muscle group be sore before.

Ok, so enough of the workout talk. What else this month? We started some seeds for the garden which I'm pretty thrilled about. Mostly broccoli and other veggies that take 5+ months until you can harvest them. We didn't get broccoli until August last year so we started them earlier. Oh and Noah made his first batch of soap! So instead of me grating bar soap and making it in to liquid he did it up with some nice oils, water & lye. Long process but the result was awesome - it sent me in to a cleaning spree Saturday morning scrubbing down everything from cabinets to stove knobs. What can I say, that stuff cleans!

I'm at about 4lbs down total for January (67 total). Slow going, but any progress is good progress so I'll take it!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Resolutions, the easy way & back to my roots!

Happy New Year. It was both exiting and sentimental to say farewell to 2012, it was a great year but I know that I have the power to make 2013 even better. My big resolution this year is to lose another 50lbs (110 total, whoa) and it's been really easy starting that one as I had already been on the weight loss path for the last 10 months.

I'll be the first to say that the holidays were a rough time for me. With everything going on, not enough sleep and little down time I was definitely not as 'on par' as I would have liked. But that's OK. Having a bad week is ok - a bad month, maybe not. I took my first 'rest time' from training in about three months and while normally this should be a full week, I took four days off from working out. It was plenty. I definitely noticed that I had increased energy for the first two weeks of January and nailed some pretty intense workouts.

I made some smaller resolutions that will help me get to my 50lb goal. First, I really wanted to quit coffee but  I find that sort of unreasonable for me (there are just some days I need it!) I made a small resolution to drink more water. I have really been slacking on this one for the last few months. Ideally, I should be drinking half my body weight in ounces of water daily. I maybe drink 50% of what I should in a day. For the last week I have been carrying my 32oz water bottle around everywhere and have been able to down three of those a day.

This year I really want to work to get my entire beauty routine chemical free. Although many of my household products are homemade, I'm still somewhat lacking in the makeup and hair dept. I knew I had to rid myself of the worst of it - hairspray. I am attached to this stuff, the aerosol kind (ya, I know). Even though I was just doing a little finishing spray, the particles still linger awhile in the air and coat my skin and hair when sprayed on. I was pretty convinced there was not going to be an ample replacement for this product. I tried the first recipe for homemade hairspray I found, mostly because it was SO easy:

1 cup nearly boiling water
4 tsp sugar

I was doubtful to say the least. Sugar water, there is no way that could work as well, right? Well once again, nature proved me entirely wrong, wondering why I had waited so long to try it. It has an incredible hold and does not weigh my hair down - even with the water. The cost to make it is rather ridiculous too, just pennies.

And next up, back to my natural color. I'm allowing myself one hair color application to match to my natural color and then that's it, no more! I'm swearing off the stuff on my head. Plus, I kind of like my natural 'dark golden blonde'. So I took the plunge. Out with the bleach blonde and in with what my hair is really supposed to look like. I'm still getting used to it. Here it is: Before and after...oh ya and those curls are holding with sugar water, after 5 hours:

It does bring out my features more and convinced me that this the way it is supposed to look. I've probably known this for awhile now but it took some time to get the red out of my hair (with the blonde) so I could go back to darker blonde.

For the first time ever I did three consecutive CrossFit classes this week (along with two runs). I'm really trying to switch it up a lot so I've dropped Spin (for now) and am concentrating on faster running speed and CrossFit (because the workout is different, everytime).

In 2013, I'm down about 3 lbs, for a total of 65! Although I feel progress is slow, I feel a lot stronger even than I was a month ago. Exited about the possibilities of 2013.